To review the Performance Monitoring Report for 2023/24 quarter 1.
This report was introduced by the Lead Councillor for Community and Organisational Development and presented by the Joint Executive Head of Organisational Development. The report formed part of the Council’s performance monitoring framework and gave an overview of its performance against the corporate key performance indicators (KPIs) during quarter 1 2023/24 and where possible, the annual KPIs for 2022/23, alongside the detailed quarterly Performance Monitoring Report attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
From this quarter onwards reporting would be against 35 quarterly KPIs and 5 annual KPIs. The report provided a summary of the Red, Amber or Green (RAG) ratings in the relevant quarter together with a comparison of quarterly RAG ratings between 2022/23 and 2023/24. Exceptions in data available for reporting were summarised in section 9 of the report.
Performance for the quarter equated to 40% of KPIs rated Green, 5.7% graded Amber and 25.7% rated Red. A further 20% of indicators were data only measures without RAG ratings whilst data in respect of the remaining 8.6% was awaited. Performance in relation to KPIs COU9 and COU10, the speed of determining planning applications for minor and other development, respectively, had shown significant improvement.
During the related discussion, a number of points were raised and the following responses provided:
· Further to a query regarding a reduction in the number of KPIs reported against in the paper, the Committee was advised that this matter had been raised at the previous meeting and the intention had been that an e-mail communication listing the changes to indicators reported on, giving the reason, would be circulated to members. The list would be re-circulated. It was confirmed that a number of indicators were monitored at service level and were not fed into the corporate reporting system, however, the Committee’s views in this regard would be taken into account.
· Additional information in respect of the reason for a reduction in performance in relation to KPI ENV2 (household waste recycled and composted) would be obtained and provided. In this connection, the Committee was advised that performance relating to some of the Environment waste indicators was felt to reflect a regular cyclical reduction in performance owing to increased residual waste and reduced recycling levels associated with the Christmas season. It was anticipated that future performance figures would indicate some waste contamination issues which were thought to be of a county-wide nature mainly associated with waste processing and not collection.
· With regard to Council Tax collection figures, there was an expected accumulative profile that would see these rising quarterly as the financial year progressed.
· Further information concerning anticipated performance improvement in relation to indicator COU3 (Council suppliers paid within 30 days) would be provided. In addition, data was sought in relation to COU5 (Time taken to assess new Housing Benefit claims) to ascertain the number of staff currently being trained to qualify as Housing Benefit claims assessors and the length of time required for them to manage casework unassisted.
Committee members with queries about specific performance indicators in the report had been asked to submit these in advance to the Policy Officer, Strategy, Performance and Events, to enable an explanation to be given at the meeting.
The Policy Officer, Strategy, Performance and Events, introduced the report submitted to the Committee. She indicated that the key performance indicators (KPIs) within the report included thirty-five quarterly and five annual KPIs. The meeting was advised that data not yet available for three annual KPIs would be included in future performance monitoring reports to the Committee. The Policy Officer, Strategy, Performance and Events, reminded the Committee of the RAG ratings for the quarterly recorded KPIs, and advised that the Joint Executive Head of Housing Services, the Joint Executive Head of Communications and Customer Services, and the Joint Executive Head of Organisational Development were in attendance to respond to questions.
The Joint Chief Executive advised the meeting that he had added an introduction to the report to highlight some matters that were worked on in 2022/23 and not often captured by KPIs, such as support for Ukrainian families and national and royal events during the year, along with areas of risk, for example, planning performance and the Council’s finances.
During the ensuing discussion a number of questions were asked and clarifications offered:
· A member questioned the lack of a target for some KPIs within the report submitted to the Committee, and referenced the KPI for the number of affordable new homes completed each year as an example. In response, the Joint Executive Head of Housing Services indicated that setting targets for matters outside the Council’s control was problematic. He suggested the feasibility of setting related targets for the Council’s own new build housing but advised that the number of affordable new homes completed each year was outside the control of the Council and a related target would be of limited use.
· With reference to the targets for the number of net new additional homes (KPI H&J3) and the number of empty homes (KPI H&J2) as examples, another member questioned why targets were set for some KPIs outside the control of the Council and not others. In response, the Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Housing indicated the value in knowing if permissions for new homes were being granted and residential properties were not being built out.
· A member of the Committee queried the reduction of KPIs earlier in the year to the current thirty-five quarterly and five annual indicators and the decision to include some that apparently recorded processes and outcomes not within the control of the Council, and suggested the benefit of the Committee selecting performance indicators to monitor from those collected as part of the Council’s service plan process. In reply, the Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Housing invited the Committee to advise further on possible changes to the KPIs in order to better enable service improvements. The Joint Executive Head of Organisational Development ... view the full minutes text for item 4